BREAKING: FHA Annual Report with Narrated Video Summary

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FHA’s 2020 Report Shows Marked HECM Improvement

During NRMLA’s Virtual Annual meeting last week. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Brian Montgomery’s comments last Tuesday reinforce a common theme heard since 2009. Viability. Referencing the continued strong demographic demand for HECMs Montgomery said, ‘so long as the program is built to be viable. He added, “In the end, we must protect seniors who depend on the HECM while ensuring our program’s financial strength can endure market cycles without taxpayers picking up the bill.”

In the effort to avoid the HECM requiring further subsidies to remain economically viable HUD & FHA have an established history of pulling to levers to reduce the program’s risk of future losses or insurance claims: reduced principal limit factors, and restructuring FHA mortgage insurance premiums. Other measures included the elimination of HECM products, financial underwriting requirements, and reducing the interest rate floor. Weeks following the unwelcome October 2017 HECM PLF cuts were enacted key one industry leader pointed to unaddressed problems in the ‘back-end’ of the program- specifically a backlog of unprocessed HECM loan assignments- this months prior to the appointment of FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery. In May 2019 Montgomery announced the good news that the backlog of HECM claim assignments was clear and expressed cautious optimism of the program’s future financial viability.

While industry watchers were grateful that the logjam of assignments had been cleared, many expressed continued concerns of continued servicing issues from HUD’s appointed servicer citing abandoned properties, unauthorized occupancy of homes by relatives, and the deterioration of properties securing the loans that languish as REOs or real-estate owned properties.

However, in the short term, there’s good news.

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